Spinal instrumentation without fusion for
scoliosis involves attaching devices (such as metal
rods, hooks, wires, and screws) in or near the spine to correct a spinal curve
without actually fusing the vertebrae together. The goal of this surgical
procedure is to stabilize a severe spinal curve in a growing child without
fusing an area of the spine that would stop growth in that area.
This procedure is used, with some limitations, on children who are
still growing and have severe spinal curves that are getting worse.
Benefits of this procedure include that
Allows for normal vertical growth of the
May stabilize a severe spinal curve.
spinal curve from getting worse.
Limitations of this procedure include:
Possible complications from surgery, such as
devices that do not stay in place or break, the need to remove devices due to
infection or other problems, or the need for another surgery.
need for several surgeries (as many as six surgeries, or two surgeries a
year) to lengthen the devices.
The need to wear a full-time brace.
Spinal fusion surgery is needed when the child is nearly finished
Despite these limitations, the use of instrumentation
without fusion is an important alternative for some children who have severe
scoliosis and who are still growing.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - Pediatrics Donald Sproule, MDCM, CCFP - Family Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerRobert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics